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Photo reportage from the last underground coal mine in Markushegy, Hungary

In february 2009, Pal Szabo, chief director of the owner company (VERT ZRT.) announced a month brake for the summer time. He said the company had to save 2 billion of Hungarian Forints in this year, now they try to spare more on the mining division. This step is quite serious as the company will lay off 240 transylvanian guest worker at the same the summer brake will being started. This decision puts a question mark on the fate of this mine and on the underground mining industry as this mine is the last underground coal mine in Hungary.

In may 2010 government put on end on underground coal mining, as the hungarian Electric Power Provider (MVM) decided to put Markushegy mine into brake-even status. By meaning this decision undergound coal mining fall dead after 31th December, 2010 in Hungary.


 

Markushegy; Pusztavam; Oroszlany; Last Underground Coal Mine; Hungary; Coal Mine; Mine; Miner; End of Coal 1

1. Marton Buzas safety engineer said Markushegy mine could work untill 2050-2060 as they explored rich coal fields in advance for many years

© Gabor Ancsin

 

 

Markushegy; Pusztavam; Oroszlany; Last Underground Coal Mine; Hungary; Coal Mine; Mine; Miner; End of Coal 2

2. Team leader are telling daily tasks to their brigades before each shift

© Gabor Ancsin

 

 

Markushegy; Pusztavam; Oroszlany; Last Underground Coal Mine; Hungary; Coal Mine; Mine; Miner; End of Coal 3

3. Miners drinking sparkling tap-water just shortly before going under

© Gabor Ancsin

 

 

Markushegy; Pusztavam; Oroszlany; Last Underground Coal Mine; Hungary; Coal Mine; Mine; Miner; End of Coal 4

4. In Hungary 20 years ago approximately 140.000 people worked in the mining industry, in 2009 Markushegy has 1300 workers

© Gabor Ancsin

 

 

Markushegy; Pusztavam; Oroszlany; Last Underground Coal Mine; Hungary; Coal Mine; Mine; Miner; End of Coal 5

5. They work in three shifts and in each shift 300-350 miners are working under the ground

© Gabor Ancsin

 

 

Markushegy; Pusztavam; Oroszlany; Last Underground Coal Mine; Hungary; Coal Mine; Mine; Miner; End of Coal 6

6. There are two other underground mine in Hungary: just a few dozen of miners mine bauxit at Fenyőfő and Manganese at Úrkut

© Gabor Ancsin

 

 

Markushegy; Pusztavam; Oroszlany; Last Underground Coal Mine; Hungary; Coal Mine; Mine; Miner; End of Coal 7

7. This special elevator has two levels, and could take 40 miners within 30 seconds into 340 meters depth, filling up the mine with 400 miners during a few minutes

© Gabor Ancsin

 

 

Markushegy; Pusztavam; Oroszlany; Last Underground Coal Mine; Hungary; Coal Mine; Mine; Miner; End of Coal 8

8. Just a few seconds before the "launch"

© Gabor Ancsin

 

 

Markushegy; Pusztavam; Oroszlany; Last Underground Coal Mine; Hungary; Coal Mine; Mine; Miner; End of Coal 9

9. Having a "good bye" smoke early in the morning. While the morning shift is beginning their work in the underground, old Ikarus buses are waiting for the night shift workers above the ground

© Gabor Ancsin

 

 

Markushegy; Pusztavam; Oroszlany; Last Underground Coal Mine; Hungary; Coal Mine; Mine; Miner; End of Coal 10

10. It is not what it seems... Image of pickers mining coal is the past, actually they are picking concrete for refurbisihment...

© Gabor Ancsin

 

 

Markushegy; Pusztavam; Oroszlany; Last Underground Coal Mine; Hungary; Coal Mine; Mine; Miner; End of Coal 11

11. These special shields giving 260 bars for securing the front tunnel and chained coal tranfser machine

© Gabor Ancsin

 

 

Markushegy; Pusztavam; Oroszlany; Last Underground Coal Mine; Hungary; Coal Mine; Mine; Miner; End of Coal 12

12. The pressure of the rock could easily see on the wooden parts... The miners can get retired after working 25 years or 5000 shifts under the ground

© Gabor Ancsin

 

 

Markushegy; Pusztavam; Oroszlany; Last Underground Coal Mine; Hungary; Coal Mine; Mine; Miner; End of Coal 13

13. Laying off transylvanian guest workers, and having forced shutdown put a question a mark on the fate of Markushegy mine

© Gabor Ancsin

 

 

Markushegy; Pusztavam; Oroszlany; Last Underground Coal Mine; Hungary; Coal Mine; Mine; Miner; End of Coal 14

14. Many workers miss the prestige of their job and they do resent lower salaries, lay offs and worse conditions

© Gabor Ancsin

 

 

Markushegy; Pusztavam; Oroszlany; Last Underground Coal Mine; Hungary; Coal Mine; Mine; Miner; End of Coal 15

15. Starting to the ground level after having 8 hours working shift

© Gabor Ancsin

 

 

Markushegy; Pusztavam; Oroszlany; Last Underground Coal Mine; Hungary; Coal Mine; Mine; Miner; End of Coal 16

16. There is a dispatcher center above the ground for providing permanent connection for the miners under, and - based on electronical sensors - for controlling gas concentration, air pressure, temperature values

© Gabor Ancsin